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Eye Flashes and Floaters
Alan M Kozarsky, MD posted:
Flashes and floaters are fairly common eye symptoms.

Floaters appear as barely moving dots, spots, circles,wavy lines or amoeba-like shapes when looking out of the involved eye. It is almost like looking through an aquarium with the floater-shapes moving in the water.

Flashes appear as camera flash bulb type bright sparking lights usually seen one's peripheral vision.

Floaters may represent harmless changes in the clear vitreous gel of the eye but especially if new, prominent and associated with flashes, can signal the presence of a retinal tear or detachment. Flashes may represent a new retinal tear or traction. Because of this, new floaters and "flashes" require a prompt appointment with an eye doctor with a dilated retinal examination. An expedited exam with identification and office-based treatment of a retinal tear can prevent retinal detachment and visual loss.
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17 of 18 found this helpful
mom2daughters responded:
Mine never go away and they are very annoying. Eye Dr said my vision is fine but the astigmatism had gotten worse though. whatever that means. but these floaters have been with me for about 3 yrs no joke.
worriedabouteyes replied to mom2daughters's response:
I have floaters as well. I've been told that it could be harmless but also signs of retinal problems. Should I see a retina specialist?
Rog08 replied to worriedabouteyes's response:
I had flashes & floaters several years ago and then developed macular pucker
Alan M Kozarsky, MD replied to Rog08's response:
New floaters especially if accompanied with flashing lights should be evaluated by your ophthalmologist. The "same old floaters" that have not changed in years and previously evaluated are no cause for alarm.
joffor responded:
by getting hit in my right eye with a baseball i start seeing a light (starts down then goes up) and disappear every time i look one way then look another. Its painless but very annoying. it occurs about 5 days after the incident. what are my options or the cure of this? i
Alan M Kozarsky, MD replied to joffor's response:
Seeing flashing lights following getting hit in the eye is a definite need to see an ophthalmologist immediately The concern is a retinal tear or detachment.
converseguy responded:
A few weeks ago I noticed when I squinted my left eye I saw a spider web pattern. My left eye only. This is not a floater as I have had those in both eyes for years. Floaters move, these are stationary. No flashes either. The pattern looks like blood vessels in my eye. They fade away if I continue to squint but will be visible again after a few seconds of wide open eye. After I noticed this I went to my eye doctor and had a full dilated exam. She found nothing wrong and could not explain the overnight change in my left eye. Any ideas?
BubbaBoomer responded:
I was watching TV when all of a sudden I had the affect or feeling like I had just looked into a flash bulb. another time a couple of weeks ago I looked into the corner of my eyes and started having floaters in my vision. Both times it stoppedafter a few minutes
atti_editor replied to BubbaBoomer's response:
I think that the best thing that you can do (especially if these flashes of light and floaters continue to happen) is to see your eye doctor for an exam. This article has some information on eye problem symptoms and what they might mean -- some listed include floaters and/or bright flashes of light. It might be a good place to start, and something that you can bring up with your eye doctor if one of the eye problems listed seems to fit what you are experiencing. Please let us know how you are doing!

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